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American Expedition Vehicles Jeep Wrangler JK V-8 HEMI-Swap Special Edition

To mark the end of the JK’s run and AEV’s 20th year, this trail-ready special-edition Jeep Wrangler was created

Another Transformation from AEV!
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Most Jeepers know American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) as a manufacturer of highly refined aftermarket accessories. The company also sells complete turnkey vehicles through select dealerships for Jeepers who want complete point-and-shoot vehicles that are also covered by factory warranties and are financeable. Its 20th Anniversary JK was part of this program, limited to 20 vehicles.

The theory here is to keep everything that's great about the factory vehicle and improve off-road capabilities. Instead of attempting to proverbially recreate the wheel, AEV respected the OE R&D/engineering and chose to refine it for better off-road performance. The end result is a JK on 37s that even out-handled stock JKs during AEV's paved cone-courses testing.

Further, AEV designs parts to work together as systems. This includes consistent lines from transitions between bumpers, flares, and PowerSteps. Also, the company is familiar with OE durability tests: all metal parts are subjected to salt-spray/corrosion scrutiny, and composite components undergo thermal expansion/contraction validation to ensure that they don't deform at sub-zero temperatures or in summer-desert heat.

The DualSport 4 -inch suspension lift is complemented by a High Steer kit. This restores geometry by flipping the draglink and also adds a heavy-duty stabilizer.
The suspension was engineering to improve off-road performance without compromising road ride and handling. The kit's Bilstein 5160 remote-reservoir shocks were valved specifically for the application.

AEV Chassis Modifications

Starting with a Rubicon JK platform, AEV worked the build backwards based on 37s as the largest feasible street/trail tire size. The lift is AEV's off-the-shelf 4 -inch DualSport HC suspension system. AEV 17x8.5 Borah beadlock wheels in special 20th Anniversary Satin Bronze finish have 4mm of positive offset so that the 37-inch BFGoodrich KM2s clear all components during full suspension cycling.

AEV was a Wrangler Hemi-swap pioneer. The company went big here with the 6.4L version, adding Grand Cherokee SRT power to over-compensate for the larger tires and added accessory weight.
Rubicon-model Dana 44s were retained, then upgraded. Both received 4.56 gears, ARB Air Lockers, and nodular-iron AEV diff covers.

6.4L Hemi and W5A580 5-speed Automatic Drivetrain

To compensate for the increased rolling mass, AEV swapped in a Hemi. For Jeepers who travel in low-octane parts of the world, AEV generally recommends the 5.7L version. However, the 20th Anniversary JKs received the 6.4L Hemi and W5A580 5-speed automatic from the Grand Cherokee SRT. This raises power up to 475 hp/470 lb-ft to get the 37s rolling promptly from a dead stop and also provide passing torque at freeway speeds. AEV's ProCal Module recalibrates the speed signals to restore correct speedo readings and shift points in conjunction with the larger tires, aftermarket gears, and Grand Cherokee SRT Hemi/automatic.

Hemi thermal-management is aided by AEV's Heat Reduction Hood. Made from steel, it is engineered to channel any incoming moisture away from critical components.

AEV Body and Interior

For the 20th Anniversary vehicles, AEV created a Satin Onyx exterior/Satin Bronze interior theme. Premium Front Bumper features include cross-link polyethylene crush can covers to retain OE airbag functionality, -inch steel tow points, and a winch plate with Warn 9.5cti winch. The bumper also hosts a pair of IBP 901 off-road lights and is bolstered underneath by an AEV skidplate.

Other exterior features include an AEV roofrack, Rear Corner Guards, a Premium Bumper with full-sized tire carrier plus the optional water tanks and pump kit. The spare mount also accommodates the CARB/EPA/DOT-compliant polyethylene AEV Fuel Caddy.

As one of the first overlanding-oriented aftermarket companies, AEV prioritizes gear-accommodation. Roofrack access is assisted by the Rear Corner Guards, which have Protection Tubes that double as steps.

Interior changes are largely cosmetic. AEV added embroidered logos and custom stitching to the factory leather. Hopefully JL and Gladiator owners will see a similar approach from AEV much sooner than 2039.

Why This 2017 Jeep Wrangler JK ?

Over the years, AEV has served as a crystal ball for future factory models: its long-wheelbase conversion in 1999 inspired the Wrangler Unlimited, and the Brute pickup package, launched in 2005, looked surprisingly similar to the new Jeep Gladiator. This vehicle shows a hypothetical trim level above the factory Rubicon package.

Rolling stock is AEV Borah true beadlocks with BFGoodrich KM2s. They were chosen for the best blend of street and trail performance.
Custom gauge faces were also created. They remind occupants of the big Hemi power.
Another overlanding-inspired component is the Fuel Caddy, which mounts to the AEV spare-tire carrier. It holds 10.2 gallons of fuel and comes with a siphon-tube to ease fluid transfer.
All components are designed to complement each other. Fender-flare lines flow into the bumpers and the mudflaps even integrate. Mesh inserts in the AEV hood make the snorkel kit an easy upgrade.

HARD FACTS
Vehicle: 2017 JK Wrangler
Engine: 6.4L Hemi V-8
Transmission: W5A580 5-speed automatic transmission
Transfer Case: NV241OR Rock-Trac
Suspension: AEV 4 -inch DualSport HC system, Bilstein 5160 resis, High Steer kit
Axles: Dana 44s, 4.56 gears, ARB Air Lockers
Wheels: 17x8.25 AEV Satin Bronze Borah
Tires: 37x12.50R17 BFGoodrich Radial Mud-Terrain KM2 T/As
Built For: The 20 owners who want a turnkey DualSport JK to commemorate the company's 20th anniversary and the end of JK production

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